Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Got Garbage?

(this is a repost)

Compost: a combination of decomposed plants and animal materials and other organic materials that are being decomposed largely through aerobic decomposition into a rich black soil.

Ever think your daydreaming might be a waste of time? The procrastination that strikes suddenly and with paralyzing force a loss of opportunity?

Maybe not.

Deb posted a fascinating account of a conference she attended. In it, author Ursula LeGuin spoke about compost, and how it's similar to what happens in our writing lives.
LeGuin is quoted as saying,
"Compost needs silence, darkness, time and patience."

Which ingredient do you find easiest to find? Which is more elusive? Is the soil of your writing garden dry or rich?

15 comments:

Anita Grace Howard said...

Hmm. At the moment, I have a HUGE compost heap waiting to be sprinkled into a WIP. LOL.

BTW, love this post, and everytime I read it, it reminds me of this quote (from one of my all time FAVE books):

“All my life and all my experience, the events that have befallen me, the people I have known, all my memories, dreams, fantasies, everything I have ever read, all of that has been chucked onto the compost heap, where over time it has rotted down to a dark, rich, organic mulch. The process of cellular breakdown makes it unrecognizable. Other people call it the imagination. I think of it as a compost heap. Every so often I take an idea, plant it in the compost, and wait. It feeds on the black stuff that used to be a life, takes its energy for its own. It germinates,. Takes root. Produces shoots. And so on and so forth, until one fine day I have a story, or a novel....Readers are fools. They believe all writing is autobiographical. And so it is, but not in the way they think. The writer's life needs time to rot away before it can be used to nourish a work of fiction. It must be allowed to decay.”
― Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

Lindsay Harrel said...

Hmmm...good food for thought.

Patience is hardest for me. I want my writing tree to grow quickly. I want an agent now. To be published now. But I have to give myself time to cultivate the skills necessary. It takes a lot of watering for plants to grow. And the soil has to be ready.

Keli Gwyn said...

Taking time to let a story steep can be quite rewarding. I often return to the computer with a renewed enthusiasm after time away.

Loree Huebner said...

Right now, a good chunk of writing time is elusive. I only get sprinkles everyday.

Stacy Henrie said...

Great quote! And so true. I think the easiest - at least right now - is the silence. The time and patience are another story. :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

No doubt about it - time is the hardest ingredient to find. The easiest is silence.

Caryn Caldwell said...

Love it! I hadn't heard that quote before, but now I'll have to remember it. I think the patience is hardest for me. Sometimes it feels like if I can't capture the idea immediately, I never will, and I start feeling a little twitchy and impatient.

Traci Kenworth said...

Hmm...I think it takes all of the above to make it work. Writing a story is such a delicate, time-consuming project. It takes careful hands to tend and prune. That is how the see turns into a beautiful sunflower.

Jessica R. Patch said...

Great post. Great analogy. Oh, I spend much time smelling the aroma of my fruit growing around a bunch of compost. LOL

Janet Smart said...

I find it hard to find silence, time and patience. I need a writing room where I can go and people know not to talk to me when I am in there.

Julie Dao said...

I love this! What a beautiful thought. My writing garden is currently in full bloom, but it has its tough seasons too.

Faith Pray said...

Lots of fallow dirt. Stuff that's been brooding, hanging out and waiting to be written. Fun post!

Jessica Nelson said...

Sorry I've been MIA! Thanks so much for commenting, ladies. I love getting your perspectives/feedback.

Nancy said...

I can find plenty of quiet if I want it. I have more difficultly with patience, though I believe I am developing more each day.(with a 2 year old.)

This is a clever post and a unique idea. Love it.

Angie Muresan said...

I've been composting a bit too long. Time to get working!